Just as you prepare your house and adjust your closet for winter, your car also needs some extra attention to ensure it’s ready for colder weather in Illinois. However, the battle is only half-won when you’re prepared. You still need to know how to drive in winter weather conditions.
Getting your car ready for winter
Start with your car tires. If they have worn treads or are bald, consider replacing them to ensure your car gets a good grip on the road during winter. Also, check your tire pressure to ensure it’s at the correct level because cold weather generally lowers it.
Your car battery is another important component to pay attention to before winter sets in. Cold weather puts extra strain on batteries, so it’s essential to ensure yours is in good condition. Consider having it tested at a service station and replaced if necessary.
Lastly, top off all of your fluids, including coolant, oil, windshield washer fluid and power steering fluid. These will all help keep your car running smoothly during the winter months.
Driving tips for winter weather
Only drive when you need to. Winter comes with slippery roads, poor visibility and cold temperatures that can kill your car batteries. Therefore, if you can avoid going out, stay home.
But, if you do have to venture out, take it slow. Sudden starts and stops are more likely to cause motor vehicle accidents on winter roads. Start slowly and brake gradually to give yourself and others time to react.
Give yourself extra space between your car and the one in front of you. This will give you more time to stop if someone ahead of you slams on their brakes. Following too closely is never a good idea, but it’s especially dangerous in winter weather conditions.
If you do get into an accident, you should know that Illinois is an at-fault (tort) state. That means the driver responsible for causing an accident is also liable for the damages. If you’re not sure who caused the accident or if it was a hit-and-run, your own insurance company will likely cover your damages up to your policy limit. You can also file a lawsuit if your injuries or vehicular damages are significant.